Nightmare tenant Nina Willis battling with new landlord, Emily Mathieu, Toronto Star, 30-May-14;
Am so glad that the Toronto Star continues to keep track of what is going on with this woman – although I’m quite sure that Willis herself feels more than a little put upon by the whole thing.
And well she should, actually – she gets all the press for her bad actions ….and hundreds, if not thousands, of other terrible tenants just like her get away scot free. Not only do their thefts not make the paper – potential landlords aren’t even able to find out a damn thing about them. They’ve got rights, you know…. landlords, on the other hand, have none… the Legalized Theft Board releases their names without question… it’s only the tenants that are protected. Cause, you know…. tenants are incompetent victims of landlords, who are evil greedy bastards who deserve to be screwed at every opportunity not only by tenants, but also by the Ontario government via the Legalized Theft Board, the Sheriff’s Office, and local police as well. I wish I were exaggerating…. but seriously, that is the ~fair & balanced~ Ontario Liberal approach to landlords & tenants issues.
The only defense that landlords in Ontario have is to do a credit check …and even that isn’t going to help if they’ve got judgements from the Legalized Theft Board against them (credit agencies aren’t interested, won’t take that info – believe me, I tried!) ….. one has to count on the fact that if they’re the sort that screw their landlord, they probably also screwed others who gave them a chance. Unfortunately, if someone is on OW or ODSP for any length of time, there is a good chance that they aren’t going to have much in the way of credit history – either positive or negative – on their file…. so if they only rip off landlords, you’re beat.
And then if/when you do wind up at the Legalized Theft Board – even though they have actively prevented you from discovering whether your tenants have previously been identified as tenants-from-hell, they blame you, the landlord, and consider it fair ball to actively support the tenant to rip you off to the tune of thousands of dollars … or hundreds of thousands, even … they don’t care … it is your fault you rented to them …and anyway, you are a landlord, therefore you are a rich greedy bastard and can afford it.
I no longer have to deal with finding tenants …. we are down to one house which will also be sold as soon as the current tenants give their notice (because of the incredibly ~fair & balanced~ situation in Ontario, in case you were wondering) … but I do still care very much about the whole bloody mess.
Not because of landlords like us getting screwed, so much though, although that does infuriate me… but because of the impact all this ~fair & balanced~ bullcrap has on lower income tenants. The Ontario Liberals are forcing landlords to discriminate against low income tenants. Which is, of course, not only illegal, it is also wrong – but if every time I get a bad tenant who is on any sort of assistance, I know that I am going to be on the hook to provide them with free housing & utilities for six months or more with no possibility of recovering a single cent of those costs how can you possibly expect me to continue to do that?
The only possible way that Ontario landlords can protect themselves is to rent only to people with excellent credit ratings and a job (that can be garnished if necessary).
No OW. No ODSP. And no one who is at higher risk of developing any sort of debilitating disability such as dementia, either, btw … because in Ontario, it is the landlord’s responsibility to accommodate, don’t you know…. the rhetoric around that is every bit as ~fair & balanced~ as the Liberals claim to be in landlord & tenant matters … but the reality is, increasingly, that if your tenant becomes disabled it is your own damn problem and it doesn’t matter HOW much it costs to accommodate them – and you certainly can’t end their tenancy because of it. It’s not because tenants on assistance are any more likely to cause a problem than any other, though, just to be clear – it’s because if there is a problem, the system is so broken that even when you win it can take months to actually get your property back – and you can not recover a cent.
So… by protecting tenants like Nina Willis, the Ontario government is actually creating a situation where the very tenants they actually SHOULD be protecting are being harmed. Single moms such as I once was? Can’t rent to them. People with disabilities? Sorry. Older people? Sorry.
Good job, good credit rating; that’s it, that’s all …. all the rest are SOL.